LIBERTY — Liberty baseball coach Tom Otto knows a good deal about Champion pitcher Andrew Russell.
Aside from coaching against him the last few years at the high school level, he also coached against him in a summer league at Cene Park in Struthers.
There’s one fact that Otto knows best: Russell is a senior.
“I’m so glad that kid’s graduating,” said Otto with a wry grin.
The rest of Champion’s opponents probably feel the same way.
Russell hit the first home run of his high school career and allowed one run over six innings to lift the Golden Flashes over Liberty, 7-3, in an All-American Conference Blue Tier clash.
It looked like Otto and the Leopards might have concocted a winning recipe against Russell and unbeaten Champion (6-0, 5-0) after they scored a run against him in the first inning and nearly added another in the second. The hard-throwing right-hander settled in after that though.
The All-American Conference is an OHSAA-sanctioned league, created in 2008 as the result of the merger between the Trumbull Athletic Conference and the Metro Athletic Conference in Ohio. The league has 21 different member schools, with 17 sports offered throughout fall, winter and spring sports seasons.